Business Analysis Paper—–Guidelines Part I

The focus of this course is on strategic management in the hospitality and tourism industry- the process of choosing and defining purposes and objectives, formulating a strategy and implementing it. The Business Analysis Paper (BAP) has been assigned in an effort to operationalize what is covered in course materials.
As such, the BAP is designed to develop your ability to see an organization as a whole and to understand how and why the various functions of a business are interdependent and need to be coordinated. Just as the thrust of the course is the organization in its totality – the environment in which it operates its strategy and how this strategy builds on the firm’s internal administrative activities so should be the focus of the BAP.
The emphasis in the course is on the kinds of problems and issues that affect the success of the entire organization. While there is (and I will make a serious attempt to point this out) a general applicability of the strategic management discipline to all types of firms (i.e.; nonprofit), in the end, the focus in the course and hence the BAP will rests on profit oriented enterprises operating in a competitive environment.
Your background for preparing the BAP will be through readings, discussions and support materials posted each week in Blackboard. Even though some of the readings may be “old” the theoretical background to SM is important for you to understand. Additionally, many of these “old” theories are still used in SM today or have been built upon to reach more current theories. There is a huge literature base on strategic management. I have attempted to include a wide ranging, historical and up-to-date selection of materials including some of the prevailing views and ideas about the manager as an architect and implementer of a strategy.
Nuts and Bolts
You will write one strategic analysis (BAP) of an existing company of your choice. This is an individual project. You must select a company in the hospitality and/or tourism industry. You must select a public company in order to have access to materials and information on the internet you will need. If you want to prepare a BAP on a privately held company you need to discuss with me your “inside” connections and ability to obtain the necessary company information.
You should imagine yourself as the company’s recently hired top management consultant (and making a lot of $$). You will be conducting an in-depth analysis of the firm, and apply the concepts, analytical tools and frameworks of the course to analyze its external and internal environments, identify the firm’s strategic options and develop a set of recommendations to maximize the firm’s long-term performance.
The BAP will comprise of three components (not of equal length): Industry Analysis; Company Analysis; Recommendations. You will need to work on this paper continuously throughout the semester as the tools and information you need to complete each component is identified throughout the term.
My strong recommendation is that you block out a specific amount of time each week for working on this assignment. I suggest that as you gather the materials and information that you also work on the writing and development of supporting materials that you will need to submit by the deadline identified in your course schedule summary. This is a progressive assignment and you cannot work on the third section until the first and second sections are complete. Strategic management and analysis is a process not an end result.
If you follow my recommendation and today block out a time period(s) each week for this assignment and stick to it you will find yourself with a completed BAP a week before the deadline. You do not have the skills to complete this ahead of that schedule. You cannot wait until a couple of weeks before deadline and possibly complete the BAP. Processes require thinking and analysis before you can write about them.
Step 1-Select a company in the hospitality and/or tourism industry that is of interest to you! You are going to be spending a significant amount of time with this company so take this decision seriously. You will be communicating your decision in Discussion Board 3 during the third week of the semester. First come, first serve. The board will open at midnight on Wednesday of week 3 for you to make your selection.
The specific information and format for making this decision will be provided to you within the context of discussion board 3. Feel free to message me with any questions you may have as you select your company.
Step 2- Once your company has been approved by me; watch the video presentation(s) prepared by our hospitality librarian to assist you in finding materials related to your company in the data bases supported by FIU. Christan Cannella can be VERY helpful when you get “stuck” or need something specific about your company and you have looked and are at a standstill. He is NOT to be doing your research for you and has been provided instructions on what assistance he can and cannot provide. The research is part of the process of writing the BAP.
2a. Go in and start familiarizing yourself on what is available and where for the hospitality/tourism company you have selected. You should start getting organized on what material is there and where it is.

Step 3-Start working on the first component of the BAP; the Industry Analysis. (See the guidelines for this component in Module 0. An announcement will be posted when this is released.)

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